My 2012 Goals

It didn’t seem like long after I stepped off the Pacific Crest Trail last October that I began pondering what my goals would be for 2012. You would think that hiking 1,700+ miles last year should have quenched my thirst for hiking; that I should be hanging up my boots and looking for a good desk job, but no. In fact, I feel more and more at home on the trail with every mile I hike. My life is bliss on the trail, even through the toughest parts. So for 2012, my goals have everything to do with – surprise, surprise – hiking! Let’s get right into it!

Mt. Whitney Summit - Looking South

Pondering my next hike from atop Mt. Whitney (July, 2011)

GOAL # 1 – To hike 150 miles in the next 80 days

As much as I love hiking, this hike guy has been busy doing everything except hiking. I had some family issues I needed to take care of for the last few months, but now I’m ready. It’s time to get back my hiking legs, and fast! I’ve got until June 1st to get back into shape. So from now until then – 80 days – I’ll be on a trail somewhere. I’m going to implement my rules from my 2010 goals with some slight modifications:

 

  1. A “hike” must be mostly off of paved surfaces. There will be no “hikes” to the grocery store. The only exception is if a “trail” is a paved footpath or a forest road.
  2. A weekend hike must be at least 3 miles long in order for the mileage to apply to this goal. We weekday hike must be at least 2 miles long.
  3. The hike must be documented online in the form of photos and/or video. Distances will be measured by my GPS (if possible) or by estimations based on maps.

So maybe you’re asking, “Why June 1st? What’s happening on June 1st?” The answer is in my next goal:

HSR_tiny

Overview of the SHR

GOAL # 2 – Thru-hike the Sierra High Route.

The Sierra High Route (SHR) is a 195-mile trek through the high country of the Sierra Nevada in California. Only a small portion of the route follows any defined trails. Whereas the nearby John Muir Trail traverses over 11 passes, the SHR hits 33. I suspect that the hike is going to kick my butt, but I’m hoping that I will preserver. I think I’m really pushing my mental limitations on this one, folks. Despite the fact that I did so many miles on the Pacific Crest Trail last season, I have a feeling that this relatively short hike will be much more difficult.

GOAL #3 – Spend 50 days in the Sierra Nevada.

I fell in love with the Range of Light last year and I hate long-distance relationships. I’m going to follow my heart and spend time strengthening my relationship with the mountains. I don’t know how long it will take me to complete the SHR, but I know it will be a lot less than fifty days. I’m planning to hike much more than the 195-mile SHR on my big journey. My tentative plan is to start my hike on the PCT at Walker Pass near Lake Isabella, CA, hike north on the PCT for about 100 miles in order to properly acclimate to the high elevations, summit Mt. Whitney, then head west to Road’s End in Kings Canyon National Park. From there, I start the SHR heading north.

GOAL #4 – Get a job!

This might be the most difficult goal of 2012. I certainly didn’t have much luck in 2011!

So there they are. It’s been said. Now it’s time to do. I’ll update with my progress. Stay tuned!